How does Soleic ensure their materials are free from toxins?

We care just as much about the careful sourcing of our materials as we do about their end of life

In practice, this means ensuring that what goes into our products doesn’t generate toxic chemicals during end-of-life biodegradation. As a non-negotiable baseline we aim to comply with all relevant legislation for the markets and regions in which we do business. This means running the OECD 208 eco-toxicity test on our materials, which follows an internationally-agreed testing method to identify potential chemical hazards, complying with biodegradation standards ASTM D6400, EN 13432, and AS 4736.

How did we test our materials? Hint: it involves studying corn plants

We know that Soleic material fully biodegrades in composting conditions, but we also needed to ensure that the biodegraded material is safe. To test for eco-toxicity, the key is to compare how plants grow on standard compost compared to compost made from our materials. If you visited Soleic labs you’d find rows of corn plants like this:

In this time lapse video the corn seedlings on the left are growing in compost made of Soleic TPU materials, which we’ve previously composted following guidelines determined by ISO 20200. On the right are corn plants growing in regular soil amended with agricultural compost.

So how do we decide that this means our materials are non-toxic?

We tracked a few different factors, including the germination rate (percentage of corn seeds that sprout), and the height and mass of the plants after a couple weeks of growth. These data tell us how healthy the plants are.

The results: we were pleased to discover that there was no statistical difference between the corn grown on degraded Soleic materials compared to ordinary compost, which shows that our materials are non-toxic.

This is a perfect example of how nature provides us with tell-tale signs of non-toxicity – so you and your customers can rest assured that products made with Soleic are safe enough even to grow vegetables with after composting.

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